COVID-19 Trends & Air Travel for 2021 and beyond
Every year, travel trends change, but 2021 is shaping up to be one of the most critical years in tourism history. We expect travel to look a little different than it did pre-pandemic as the world gradually recovers from COVID-19 and borders begin to open. The following are the trends that will influence the future of air travel:
COVID-19 Trend #1 – Health awareness
- Biometrics technology – Since the COVID-19 epidemic, airports and airlines have worked tirelessly to ensure a safe travel experience while reducing the risk of infection. Passengers will be able to identify themselves in seconds using biometric technology, eliminating the need for physical interaction with the airport staff.
- Self-service checkpoint technology – It will be imperative to make passengers feel safe and secure to increase air travel demand. We believe that passengers are likely to place a premium on factors like airport cleanliness and show a significant aversion to processes that involve personal contact. As a result, there will be an increased demand for the further expansion of self-service checkpoint technology.
- Contactless check-in and bag drop – Airports would welcome new technology that allows travelers to check-in, drop off their baggage, go through security, and board their flight without any physical interaction. For instance, Singapore Airlines mobile app enables passengers to declare the number of bags they will be checking in and auto-prints the bag tags. The user can then drop off these tagged bags at any automated bag drop machines at Singapore’s Changi Airport, providing a contactless check-in experience.
COVID-19 Trend #2 – Safe passenger travel
- Covid Dashboard by HERMES – As governments relax travel restrictions, the attention now shifts to figuring out how to make the process of validating consumers’ vaccination status and identities as simple as possible. WCC has developed the COVID-19 Health Dashboard to integrate COVID-19 Health data into the HERMES passenger screening process to help governments and border control authorities with their operations. Passengers can create a safe and certified digital identity linked to their passport, check their test/vaccination requirements and status, and upload certificates to their mobile devices using the IATA Travel Pass. HERMES will receive the appropriate health status information from IATA travel pass or other health passport providers. The COVID-19 Health Dashboard can then notify a local health authority or border police agency of the current health status of each passenger. This control allows the local authorities an opportunity to act on incoming passenger information and potentially stop passengers from crossing the border.
- Digital Vaccine Certification – While it is still uncertain when the world’s population will be ready to travel more freely, there will be many people who are already keen to plan a trip to reunite with family and friends as soon as possible. IATA travel pass, EU’s Digital Green Certificate, ICC AOKpass, VeriFLY digital wellness application by Daon, and VaccineGuard are examples of digital vaccine certifications that would make travel safer and more transparent.
COVID-19 Trend #3 – Convenient travel experience
- Virtual information booths – It will be more necessary than ever for tourists to stay connected when traveling in the post-COVID-19 era. Gone are the days when people could easily go “off-grid,” as there is now a pressing need to keep informed and updated with the latest travel guidelines.
- Touchless food ordering and delivery – Airport area food courts and restaurants create touchless food ordering and delivery services that include digital menus to engage with consumers actively and communicate the steps they’re taking to keep customers and employees safe.
As we transition to a new normal, trust will be crucial in allowing airports to recover and rebuild in the short term while also thriving in the long run. Customers need to trust that the air travel industry is committed to supporting their needs and prioritizing measures designed to safeguard their health.
Customer trust with Covid Dashboard
In this quest, WCC is committed to adopting the trends that reflect the changing customer preferences and behaviors. With initiatives like intelligent border management and the COVID-19 Health Dashboard, HERMES aims to foster the kind of bond that will drive customer trust in times to come.
In conclusion, customers will remember brands that paid attention to them and “cared” for them during these trying times. To know how WCC HERMES can help law enforcement agencies secure international borders worldwide, feel free to reach out and learn more.